The Tenth Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, an admittedly old edition, nonetheless defines "country" in almost the exact same way.
As there is no such thing as an older version of Dictionary.com on the internet at any given time, one should conclude that Merriam-Webster's definition has remained consistent.
For purposes of this essay, definitions #5, #6 and possibly #7 can be removed.
The States of America, once much more united than divided, now almost completely divided by The Regime's declaration of the death of relativity, is a country. Before the selection of The Regime in 2000, the convenient tragedy in 2001 and the bogus wars based upon the convenient tragedy, this country was known as The United States of America.
This country may become known again as The United States of America. There was another time, between 1965 and 1975, during which it would have been difficult to call this country "united". We had just emerged from the misguided McCarthy hearings and the word "communist" stood for evil. Most Americans, too ignorant or too lazy to research the word as it pertains to a proposed form of governance, began referring to The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and The People's Republic of China as communist countries. Communists were, first and foremost, evil people who wanted to take over the world. Nikita Khrushchev's 1956 "We will bury you" UN rant didn't help the perception.
Consequently, when populist movements started in Korea and in Vietnam, it wasn't difficult to convince the American public that we needed to stop the "spread of communism". Of course, since no nation state has ever experienced "communism" as a form of self governance, there was no communism to spread and/or stop.
Americans believed their government when it told them that "communist" North Vietnamese gunboats had attacked two American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964. America supported its government's calls for retaliation.
The "retaliation" lasted from 1965 to 1975. However, retaliating for the Gulf of Tonkin incident grew further and further away from the minds of Americans as time marched on. Most Americans ultimately learned that their government had scammed them and caused the deaths of 58,000 American military personnel, not to mention over between three million and seven million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians.
We need a military to be willing to defend this country. We should be grateful for a military that will defend its fellow American citizens (people) and the land upon which they live.
In accordance with what the above definitions don't contain, the phrase, "a nation's interests", is not synonymous with the word "country". America's interests, for example, could include corporate manufacturing plants owned by Americans. Those corporations are not America. If corporations choose to do business outside of The Former United States of America, they have to accept the risks involved. American military personnel can not be expected to go to war and risk their lives if citizens of a host nation decide to harm American corporate interests located within the borders of that host nation.
Gambling that a nation may someday do harm to America is not an acceptable reason for The FUSA to go to war with that nation. American military personnel would not be fighting for their country if the war in which they were engaged was based upon what The Regime assumes a nation may do in the future or even based upon what The Regime thinks a nation like Iran, for example, is preparing today to do internally.
One is only fighting for one's country if the inhabitants of that country and/or the land upon which those inhabitants live are in immediate and definitive danger or if the inhabitants and/or the land have already been attacked.
Interestingly enough, however, we who opposed invading Iraq before the invasion took place and who still oppose our military presence in Iraq are told that we wouldn't be able to oppose the war if the soldiers weren't in Iraq fighting for their country. This rebuttal was used by those who supported the Vietnam War as well. The soldiers then, too, were fighting for their country.
I am not grateful to the soldiers in Iraq for my freedom of speech and I was not grateful to those who fought in Vietnam for my freedom of speech. I'm grateful to the US Constitution and those who composed it for my freedom of speech.
How many of us lost our freedom of speech after the North Vietnamese took over all of Vietnam?